Several weeks ago I met a German luthier in Rouen. She shared some interesting tidbits on my oldest violin. This violin was made in her region of Germany by George Adam Gutter in 1775…one year before America was born. This region gave rise to one of the earliest guilds of violin luthiers in 1677. Many of these young instrument makers were Protestants fleeing persecution in neighboring regions. They became skilled at their profession. After learning that we would be near this region, I decided to take my violin back to its hometown. In Markneukirchen there is an excellent museum and we were given a guided tour by the museum director. She was very kind and keenly interested in my violin. Here is an article that tells this story of this small village (Musical Valley Article). I was surprised to learn that another young luthier was born here named Christian Frederick Martin, who started Martin Guitar Company in 1833.